…PDP rejects move
The Federal Government on Wednesday announced plans to ensure the return of toll gates on federal highways in the country.
The decision came after being phased out more than a decade ago.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, stated this while briefing State House Correspondents on the decision taken at the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa Abuja.
Fashola, flanked by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said there was no law that stopped the government from having toll gate on federal roads.
He said, “There is no reason why we can’t toll, there was a policy of government to abolish tolls or as it where, dismantle toll plaza but there is no law that prohibits tolling in Nigeria today. We expect to return toll plazas, we have concluded their designs of what they will look like, what materials they will be rebuilt with, what new considerations must go into them.
“What we are looking at now and trying to conclude is how the bank end runs.”
Fashola said that government was also considering to eliminate payment of cash by introducing electronic mode of payment.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected plans by the Federal Government to return toll gates on highways in the country.
The party lamented that such an idea, in the midst of excruciating economic hardship and high costs of living is completely ill-conceived and anti-people.
The PDP insisted that at best, such idea amounts to “executive bullying” which cannot be justified under any guise as it will lead to more increase in costs of goods and services across the country.
“Only recently, President Buhari approved the increase of Value Added Tax (VAT) from 5% to 7.2% despite outcry by Nigerians, who are also being made to pay exorbitant tariffs for electricity and other essential services.
“Since President Buhari came into office in 2015, his administration had continued to increase prices and impose all manner of levies on Nigerians which proceeds are being frittered by the cabal in the presidency leading to a bleeding economy and despondency among the citizenry.
“The PDP says that instead of putting more pressure on already impoverished Nigerians by introducing toll gates at this point in time, President Buhari should exert himself, seek ways of creating wealth out of the abundant resources at the disposal of his administration or make haste to surrender the reign of governance to more competent hands,” the PDP stated through its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan.
The party further stated that the PDP administration, in keeping with its determination to ensure the wellbeing and economic prosperity of the citizens, dismantled toll gates, cut tax profiles and applied our energies towards wealth creation.
According to the PDP spokesman, if the opposition party were in power then Nigerian would be better catered for.
“It is therefore certain that if our nation were under PDP administration, as desired by Nigerians, competent hands would have been on the deck to proffer ways to create wealth for governance instead of turning our citizens into vassals who are overburdened by heavy taxes.
“The PDP states that it is lamentable that at the time Nigerians ought to be enjoying the benefits of the Atiku Abubakar economic recovery and wealth creation blueprint, they are faced with suppressive policies”.
The party charged President Buhari to immediately rescind the decision to return toll gates on federal highways, stating that such is not in the best interest of Nigerians.